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Amazon’s Kindle DRM strikes again

With physical books – or even electronic sales – the “first-sale” doctrine applies, and the seller cannot unilaterly reverse the transaction and take back the item (even if they credit the consumer for the price). Nor can the seller in a traditional sales transaction prevent resale, etc. – which Amazon also prohibits.

Will consumers adjust to this new model, or will we rebel and insist on our traditional first-sale rights?

By Kristopher A. Nelson in

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The Amazon Kindle 2
Image via Wikipedia

Yet another example of the problems with DRM and the Kindle:

This morning, hundreds of Amazon Kindle owners awoke to discover that books by a certain famous author had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for—thought they owned.

But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

via Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others – Pogue’s Posts Blog – NYTimes.com.

This also clearly illustrates the problem from the consumer perspective of “licensing” what was previously sold. With physical books – or even electronic sales – the “first-sale” doctrine applies, and the seller cannot unilaterly reverse the transaction and take back the item (even if they credit the consumer for the price). Nor can the seller in a traditional sales transaction prevent resale, etc. – which Amazon also prohibits.

Will consumers adjust to this new model, or will we rebel and insist on our traditional first-sale rights?

This certainly discourages me from buying a Kindle – or, especially, from purchasing my Kindle books through Amazon. Better to get them via Project Gutenberg, where they cannot be taken from me later on.